Outhwaite Homes

The Outhwaite Homes Estates, along with the Cedar Apartments and Lakeview Terrace, were the first three public housing projects to be completed in Cleveland. The three projects were also among the first in the nation to receive approval and funding from the federal government's newly-created Public Works Administration in 1935.

Outhwaite's brick Art Deco buildings, grouped around grassy courtyards, originally contained 557 units. Expansion occurred only a few years after Outhwaite's 1937 opening as demand for public housing in Cleveland continued. The need for new housing was particularly great within the African American community, whose growing numbers were leading to overpopulation in the Central neighborhood, the city's black enclave. Initially, African Americans seeking public housing could only live at the Outhwaite Homes - in the Central neighborhood - as officials sought to keep each housing project racially homogeneous.

In 1938, brothers Louis and Carl Stokes, who went on to noted political careers, moved to the Outhwaite Homes with their mother, Louise. Louis Stokes was a US Congressional Representative for nearly three decades and his brother Carl became the first African American mayor of Cleveland in 1967. Both brothers credited their time at Outhwaite with having a role in their success.

Video

The Promise of Public Housing
Venerine Branham describes her memories of growing up at Outhwaite Homes. ~ Source: CSU Center for Public History + Digital Humanities
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Images

Audio

The Night Carl Stokes Became Mayor
Newscaster Leon Bibb describes the night that Carl Stokes became Mayor of Cleveland
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Outhwaite Pride
Venerine Branham remembers Cleveland's Outhwaite Homes as a place of pride, support and high expectations
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Voting For Carl Stokes
Carmel Whiting describes taking advantage of her first chance to vote in Cleveland during the election of Carl Stokes in 1967
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Map

2452 East 46th Street, Cleveland, OH 44104